A primary weapon is a piece of equipment used to deal damage. Depending on the weapon's details, it can be either melee or ranged, and deals one of various types of damage. The weapon's damage can be increased by a number of skills, including Smiting Prayers, Conjure Element skills, Preparations, and, for one effect, attack skills. The primary weapon is equipped in the character's right hand slot (sword background). Characters must equip a primary weapon in order to attack. A primary weapon can be customized in order to do more damage, but it will only be usable by that particular character (or that character's heroes).
A secondary weapon, also often referred to as "off-hand weapon/item", is an equipment that offers a supportive role in combat, often in the form of additional armor or energy. The secondary weapon is equipped in the character's left hand slot (shield background).
Certain types of weapons require two hands to wield. When equipped, the left hand slot will be darkened and have a red cross over it. A secondary weapon can still be equipped, but will have no effect whatsoever. Because equipped weapons do not take up space in the inventory, it is still recommended to equip a secondary weapon while wielding a two-handed primary weapon.
For details on how weapons inflict damage, see Damage.
For lists of available weapons, see Category:Weapons.
There are various ways to get a weapon in Guild Wars:
To equip a weapon, drag and drop it to its weapon slot or any background area in the inventory panel. Alternately, just double-click on the weapon. If another weapon was originally equipped in the same slot, the two weapons will be swapped.
To unequip a weapon, drag it from the weapon slot and drop it over an empty slot in the inventory or storage. In explorable areas and missions, weapon can be unequipped by directly dropping it on the ground too.
Up to four Weapon Sets are available to quickly change the weapons equipped.
Equipment in general cannot be equipped or changed during the activation of a skill or the swing of an attack. Attempt to equip/change equipment during said action will not be queued, and must be reattempted after the previous action was completed.
What weapon to use for your profession
Every player can equip every weapon regardless of attribute levels.
Each kind of martial weapon is linked to a specific attribute, e.g. axes are linked to Axe Mastery. Increasing that attribute increases the damage dealt using that type of weapon as its inherent effect, see Damage calculation. Caster weapons have no such inherent damage modifying effect.
Most weapons have an attribute requirement to qualify for their stated base damage range; e.g. "Slashing Dmg: 7-19 (Requires 5 Axe Mastery)". If the character's rank in the required attribute does not meet the requirement, the equipment will function in one of two ways:
- Collectors, crafter, quest reward, Bonus, or Unique weapons, will deal damage equal to the equivalent Starter Weapon. (e.g.. attempting to wield a Droknar's Sword (requirement 9) at 8 Swordsmanship will result in it dealing 2-3 damage like a Starter Sword)
- If the weapon is a dropped item, it will deal half damage. For example, a max 6-28 axe will have a base damage range of 3-14 when you do not meet the Axe Mastery requirement for that weapon.
Only the damage range is attribute dependent; any mods on the weapon will still have their full stated effect regardless of your attribute rank.
- Spellcasting (all caster professions)
- Shields (Warrior and Paragon)
- Focus items (all caster professions)
Melee Weapon Comparison
|Profession||Weapon||Two-handed||Maximum Damage||Attack Interval||Other Properties|
|Assassin||Daggers||Yes||7-17||1.33 seconds1||2% double strike chance per rank of Dagger Mastery|
|Dervish||Scythe||Yes||9-41||1.5 seconds||hits up to 2 additional targets within adjacent range|
- Excluding double strikes
Ranged Weapon Comparison
|Profession||Weapon||Two-handed||Maximum Damage1||Refire Rate||Range2||Flight Time3||Arc Size||Other Properties|
|Ranger||Bow, Flatbow class||Yes||15-28||2.0 seconds||1.35||0.88 seconds||Large|
|Bow, Hornbow class||Yes||15-28||2.7 seconds||1.2||0.59 seconds||Normal||10% armor penetration|
|Bow, Longbow class||Yes||15-28||2.4 seconds||1.35||0.59 seconds||Normal|
|Bow, Recurve Bow class||Yes||15-28||2.4 seconds||1.2||0.40 seconds||Small|
|Bow, Shortbow class||Yes||15-28||2.0 seconds||1.0||0.59 seconds||Normal|
|Paragon||Spear||No||14-27||1.5 seconds||1.0||0.60 seconds||Small|
|Staff||Yes||11-22||1.75 seconds||1.2||unknown||Small||up to +10 energy,|
halves spell recharge (10-20%),
no linked attack skills,
extremely low critical hit rate
|Wand||No||11-22||1.75 seconds||1.2||unknown||Small||no linked attack skills,|
extremely low critical hit rate
- Ranged weapons inflict more damage against lower targets and less damage against higher targets. The exact mechanics of this are unknown.
- Range is approximated in the radius of the aggro circle. The range of projectile weapons increases against lower targets and decreases against higher targets. The exact mechanics of this are unknown.
- Flight Time is for a target at Shortbow range distance.
Associated attribute requirements
|Attributes and Weapon Types|
- Wands and staves tied to Restoration Magic can only be obtained as loot in the form of variable attribute staves and wands that are tied to Restoration Magic. They cannot be obtained from collectors or weaponsmiths in Factions, but they can be obtained through collectors and weaponsmiths in Nightfall.